Norway cut off the supply of Russian cargo to Svalbard

Norway refused to allow Russian cargo to enter the Svalbard archipelago, where about 500 people live in the village of Barentsburg, including Russians working in the Arktikugol coal mines.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry noted that Russia tried to smuggle 20 tons of food for shift workers-miners and sent a corresponding request to the Norwegian authorities, but it was rejected. The department referred to compliance with European sanctions and said that there would be no exceptions. The ministry added that Barentsburg has the same laws as the rest of the archipelago.

Svalbard Governor Lars Fause said that he is in constant contact with the Arktikugol trust regarding supplies. According to him, the Norwegian authorities will not allow people to starve.

“No one will be harmed in any way as long as Norway has full and unconditional control over the archipelago,” he said.

Consul General of Russia Sergey Gushchev said that in general the situation is stable and the Russian side is going to formalize the food shipments as humanitarian ones.

Cargoes from Murmansk are delivered to Svalbard first by trucks. Through the only Storskog checkpoint on the border between Russia and Norway, trucks arrive in the city of Tromsø. From there, the only cargo ship, Bring, goes to the archipelago once every ten days.

In mid-March, Norway joined the first three packages of EU sanctions against Russia. They concern the financial, energy, transport, technology and defense sectors. Violation of these restrictions in the country provides for criminal liability.


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